cmathewson, I hardly think Plouffe will start putting up David Ortiz numbers, do you or does anyone else posting here think so either? And within the current organization the improvement at third will obviously be Sano which you implied in a round about way. Plouffe in the outfield or DH down the road? Possibly, but not with the numbers he has put up so far, I am talking real traditional numbers now not WAR which is a problematical stat anyway, isn't it?
He could end up with Willingham's job next year, at about the same production. It's especially important in this stadium to have hitters like Plouffe around. He has shown flashes of greatness (June 2012). It would be nice to see more consistency. It's up to him.
WAR is only problematic from a defensive perspective, in the sense that there are two different definitions: bWAR (Baseball Reference) and fWAR (Fangraphs). Both have their issues, because the defensive metrics upon which they are based are not definitive. For example, it's entirely possible that two third basemen will have very different WARs primarily because one has a good shortstop next to him and the other has a bad shortstop. Still and all, those problems are mostly due to small samples. Over the long haul, the best stats we have are pretty accurate measuring sticks of players at their positions.